A FORMER North Berwick High School pupil has teamed up with Games of Thrones actor Clive Russell for a short film, with scenes shot in the county.

Filming for 1745 will be split between the Highlands and Gullane, with the crew arriving in the county on Monday.

The film is set in the Highlands and tells the tale of two African slave sisters and their pursuit for freedom.

The sisters must survive the wilderness whilst being chased by their master through an epic and elemental backdrop at a turbulent time in Scotland’s history.

Producer John McKay explained how Gullane was ideal for the film, which will feature Clive, who starred as the ‘Blackfish’ Brynden Tully in the HBO hit TV show Game of Thrones.

John said: “I’m a North Berwick guy, grew up there and went to North Berwick High School before writing, acting and directing took me elsewhere. I still come back to see my mum and the area is familiar to me.

“When Morayo Akande (writer and star) and Gordon Napier (director and co-producer), who is also quite familiar with East Lothian, had to find a grand house, Gosford fell quite quickly into our view.

“We had to shoot a flashback sequence where the girls remember time before they were slaves back in Nigeria.”

The 51-year-old felt the sand dunes and grass at Gullane would be ideal for the scenes, with the film focusing on Britain’s largely forgotten role in the transatlantic slave trade.

The team behind the film are looking to raise the profile of the project.

Already, the project has received funding through Creative Scotland and the BFI through their New and Emerging Talent scheme run by the Scottish Film Talent Network. However, they are looking for more help to ensure the film is a success.

Mr McKay, who has previously worked on shows for both BBC and Channel 4, moved to the town in the 1970s, with his dad, Jack, the headmaster at Law Primary School, which he attended before moving on to the town’s secondary school and leaving in 1981.

Mr McKay, who grew up on the town’s Abbey Road, added the town had helped shape him into his career path.

He said: “I would say growing up in a place like North Berwick, with wide open skies and lots of room to wander about unhindered is probably, the making of me as an artist.”

To help with crowdfunding for the project, go to www.in diegogo.com/projects/1745-a-short-film-freedom